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Legislators face probes over MOJ incident
Central News Agency
2013-04-21 10:54 PM
Taipei, April 21 (CNA) Legislators of Taiwan's main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will face investigations for several offenses, including kicking and damaging the door to the justice minister's office last week, the Taipei District Prosecutors Office said Sunday. The investigations will focus on charges of obstructing an officer in the execution of duties, damaging public property and insulting public office, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office announced. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has said earlier that it would likely ask the prosecutors' office to handle the case as early as Monday. Commenting on the MOJ's position, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang said that he "regretted" the ministry's decision to "head toward a serious conflict" instead of trying to resolve a confrontation. The incident occurred partly because Justice Minister Tseng Yung-fu pretended not to be in his office at the time of the incident, Su said. The announcement by the prosecutors' office came two days after two female legislators, Chiu Yi-ying and Yeh Yi-jin, and their male colleagues including Chao Tien-lin went to the MOJ on April 19 to protest the transfer of former President Chen Shui-bian to a prison hospital in Taichung. They had called on the government to release Chen on medical parole. The legislators arrived at the ministry as a press conference was going on to brief reporters on the transfer. According to reporters who were present, Chiu took over the podium from Chen Ming-tang, the vice justice minister, and accused the ministry of trampling on the former president's human rights. Yeh produced a hospital report and claimed that the former president should have been granted home-based convalescence. Chao threw papers at the vice minister, said reporters. Chiu and others proceeded to the minister's office on the third floor. After being told that the minister was not in, Chiu dislodged a wooden panel on the door by kicking and then unlock the door by turning the knob on the inside. They found the minister in the office and demanded an explanation on why the former president was quietly transferred early that day from Taipei Veterans General Hospital, where he had been treated since last September. In the process, slurs including "coward" were used. Many legislators, from all parties, are known to have damaged public property as a way of emphasizing their displeasure with administration officials. Punitive measures, if any, tend to be light and often not taken seriously. (By Wang Chao-yu, Chen Ching-ping and Jay Chen)
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